Tag Archives: California Pizza Kitchen

Photo: Desert Ridge Marketplace

Desert Ridge Marketplace Events For November & December

Mark your calendars! Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix has many events planned for this holiday season:

Super Saturday Turkey Drive

When: Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Albertson’s at Desert Ridge Marketplace
What: Help St. Mary’s Food Bank provide thousands of families with a real holiday meal by donating a frozen turkey. Everyone who donates a frozen turkey can enter to win prizes from Desert Ridge Marketplace.

Holiday Ice Skating at Desert Ridge Marketplace

When: Black Friday Weekend: Friday through Sunday, November 23, 24 and 25; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., FREE event
Where: Near AMC Theatre
What: Skip the Black Friday crowds and come enjoy some holiday family fun on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. near the AMC Theatre for some free holiday ice skating! The skates are free as well. All skaters must be at least 5 years old.

First Snow Fall with Radio Disney at Desert Ridge Marketplace

When: Monday, November, 19, 5 – 8 p.m., FREE event
Where: AMC Fountain at Desert Ridge Marketplace
What: Come watch Desert Ridge Marketplace transform into a winter wonderland at the First Snow Fall with Radio Disney. Bring the family out for fun and entertainment with Radio Disney’s Rockin’ Road Crew and enjoy four shows throughout the night. This will be a spectacular holiday experience unlike any other!

Salvation Army Angel Tree

When: Friday, November 23 – Saturday, December 22
Where: Dave & Buster’s at Desert Ridge Marketplace
What: The Christmas Angel Program provides new toys and clothing to children who otherwise would not have gifts to open during the holidays. The gifts contain tags with the name, age, clothing size, and toy requests of an underprivileged child. An annual program offered by the Salvation Army, Arizona’s Family 3TV and Mix 96.9, the Christmas Angel Program runs from Friday, November 23, through Saturday, December 23.

Snow What Fun Nightly Snowfalls at Desert Ridge Marketplace

When: November 19 – December 24, 7 p.m. & 8 p.m., FREE event
Where: AMC Fountains
What: It will snow each night between November 19 through December 24 (except for Thanksgiving) promptly at 7 & 8pm within The District at Desert Ridge Marketplace. Out of thin air, flakes of fluffy white show will float down from the sky, transforming the AMC Fountain and Fireplace into a snow globe.

United Blood Services Blood Drive

When: Monday, November 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Near Dave & Busters
What: Give a life-saving performance by donating blood Nov. 26, and you’ll receive a voucher for one complimentary ticket to a concert, courtesy of the Phoenix Symphony! But that’s not all; all November blood donors will be automatically entered into a raffle to win 50,000 Marriott Rewards Points, courtesy of the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. Use your points at more than 3,600 hotels in 70 countries or for great name-brand merchandise in the Marriott Reward Store. The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the most difficult times of the year to meet patient blood needs, so find the hero in you. Give blood this holiday season. Potential donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 16 years old. Additional height/weight restrictions apply for donors ages 16–22. For donor eligibility questions, call (480) 675-5497. To schedule your preferred donation time, visit BloodHero.com.

Snow Day with 98.7 The Peak

When: Sat. Dec 8, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Where: Sandbar parking lot, off Tatum Blvd.
What: Whether you’re a kid or just want to feel like one for the day, grab your mittens and head over to Snow Day with The Peak in the Sandbar parking lot, located just off of Tatum Blvd. If you can’t make it to the snow for the holidays, we will bring it to you! With more than 35 tons of snow to play in, and holiday crafts, cookies and milk, Mrs. Claus and live music, there is something for everyone!

Story Time with PBS Channel 8

When: December 5, 12 & 19, 5 – 7 p.m.
Where: District Stage
What: Bring the kids out to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies from California Pizza Kitchen, story-time readings of holiday classics, dancing and exercises by The Little Gym and special guest characters presented by PBS Channel 8. Remember to get here early to grab a seat! Catch Clifford the Big Red Dog on Wednesday, December 5 from 5-7 p.m., Arthur on Wednesday, December 12 from 5-7 p.m. and Curious George on Wednesday, December 19 from 5-7 p.m.

Desert Ridge Marketplace

21001 N. Tatum Blvd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85050
(480) 513-7586
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Tempe Marketplace

Food, Entertainment & Shopping: Tempe Marketplace

I headed up to Tempe Marketplace to check out the shops and restaurants that keep college students returning throughout the school year. Being a student from Arizona State University, many of the people within the city of Tempe and college students gather here to pass the time. Whether you want to go to the movies, try new restaurants, or even shop for new outfits or dorm supplies, Tempe Marketplace has what you’re looking for.

Starving by the time my boyfriend and I arrived, we were tasked with the choice of which restaurant to choose. Some of the restaurants available are California Pizza Kitchen, Lucille’s Smokehouse Barbeque, Kabuki, Red Robin, Chipotle and the Thirsty Lion.

We decided on Chipotle, a Mexican grill offering burritos, bowls, tacos, and even kids meals. The variety allows you to make to the right choice, such as vegetarian style, chicken, steak, and barbacoa beef. As we emerged from Chipotle, full, we were quickly tempted by the smell of popcorn in the air (thanks to the nearby Harkins Theatre) as well as the ice cream and frozen yogurt eaten by passersby (from Cold Stone Creamery and Mojo Yogurt, respectively).

Escaping temptation, we made a quick stop into Claire’s, greeted with Justin Bieber hats, flip-flops, purses and other colorful treasures for teens and young girls alike. If you know what you’re looking for, there are numerous earrings and jewelry that are perfect for even a college student’s wardrobe.

In search of pop culture attire more our age group, we ventured into Hot Topic. From Mario to Disney, you can’t help but pick out a variety of things you simply can’t live without.

With so many stores within a few steps of one another, we quickly visited 20 shops, including Tilly’s, Journey’s, Pac Sun, Lids, Oakley, Target, Ross and World Market.

Tempe Marketplace is also the perfect place to stay updated with upcoming shows at ASU Gammage. The previous season was posted, but other upcoming events that Tempe Marketplace sponsored are listed along the paths between the various stores.

Near Barnes & Noble, there is a kid-splash fountain for little ones to play in. Many happy moms were taking advantage of this amenity and watched their little ones play as they sat in the shade. The area, called The District”, has free Wi-Fi, and Tempe Marketplace is pet friendly.

I look forward to another visit to Tempe Marketplace to explore the stores as well as try more food from the variety of restaurants.

For more information about Tempe Marketplace, visit tempemarketplace.com.

Tempe Marketplace
2030 East Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 966-9338

Restaurant Industry

Restaurant Industry Starts To Simmer

The American restaurant industry is starting to simmer. Consumers are spending more on meals, and foot traffic at establishments is improving, albeit from a diminished base, according to the 22nd edition of the Chain Restaurant Industry Review, released at this week’s Restaurant Leadership Conference by GE Capital, Franchise Finance. As sales trends recover, operators are translating those positive feelings into a greater willingness to invest in their businesses. And with increasingly accessible credit, they’re able to commit to higher capital expenditures.

“The restaurant industry has come through the upheaval of the past several years by listening closely to the consumer and adapting to their changing tastes – and they’ve done it well,” said Agustin Carcoba, president and CEO of GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “Depending on their segment, brand and focus, operators have emphasized food quality, service quality, menu options and other factors that will lead to renewed growth this year and in the years ahead. Even better, operators did it all while managing operational costs.”

Consumers spent $406.6 billion at restaurants in 2011. For 21 consecutive months, they spent more at restaurants than grocery stores, and that trend is expected to continue. Last year, quick-service restaurants (QSR) accounted for 48.0 percent of that figure, while full-service restaurants (FSR) counted for 48.1 percent. The QSR category includes limited service, fast casual, take-out locations and snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars, while FSR includes family, casual, high-end casual and fine dining establishments.

Operators’ improved expectations can be partially attributed to positive results that were sustained throughout last year. QSR same-store sales grew 3.2% last year – ahead of the FSR rate of 2.4%. QSR benefitted from eight consecutive periods of growth due to more consistent traffic, while FSR relied more on menu price increases and higher average checks.

“Restaurateurs are no longer in survival mode; now they’re planning for the future,” said Trey Brown, commercial leader of GE Capital, Franchise Finance. “To capture that growth and maintain a competitive advantage, they’re investing in their businesses by building new stores, remodeling existing ones or investing in new equipment.”

The level of liquidity available in the restaurant industry space continues to improve. Merger and acquisition activity – an indicator of the popularity of the restaurant industry among investors – increased last year. Total syndicated volume in the restaurant space increased more than 26% to almost $12 billion in 2011. Strategic buyers returned, such as American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, Darden Restaurants and Landry’s Inc. Private equity firms were also active; for example, Golden Gate Capital acquired California Pizza Kitchen.

“We expect restaurants to continue to be appealing acquisition targets because of the ongoing increases in food dollars spent away from home, as well as the scalability of this business model,” Brown added.